Jul 312009

to Part 2

And with that, our moms decided to pull us apart again.  But then I heard “Let’s go in this direction” and off we went, Rosie first and me following.

We were letting Rosie set the pace.  I, of course, wanted to race on ahead, and so my mom had to keep pulling on my lead to slow me down. The idea was to keep space between Rosie and me so that Rosie could get comfortable with me.  Between the two of us, I want to be friends with everybody and she’s a little more protective, so the moms decided to keep the space as  Rosie felt more comfortable.  But my mom was working very hard and it was getting exhausting for her so she said, “How about if Joey and I go first, and Rosie and you follow.” That was agreed to and this system worked pretty well.

We kept this up all around the block and ended up back home. There we stopped.  Mom said,” I need to go inside and get Joey some water.” Rosie’s mom said that she had water with her.  Off I went into our home to drink.  Unfortunately my mom had to say “Joey, drink” because I was too excited to know to drink. But I listened to her.

Soon I was ready for another lap around another block.

Off we all went, my mom and me first, then Rosie and her mom.

Here’s a photo of us when a neighbor was walking by and said “Oh, two chocolates!” Our whole group stopped while the moms and the neighbor talked and talked.

two chocolates!

two chocolates!

It was shortly after this when we continued our walk toward home. Our moms decided for us that this was enough for our first walk together. I could have kept on going but it looks like I wasn’t the one making the decisions here.

At one point I kissed and licked my sister, telling her how much I liked her. She wasn’t much in the mood for being kissed right then and the moms decided to respect Rosie’s wishes, and that’s okay.

Once in front of our home again, my mom got out her bag of treats and gave me a treat and said “Good boy.” Then Rosie’s mom gave Rosie a treat and said “Good girl.”  Then my mom gave me another treat.  Then Rosie’s mom gave Rosie another treat.  Then mom mom gave Rosie a treat and said “Good girl”.  Then Rosie’s mom handed me a treat that she dropped on the ground but that Rosie got to before I could. Then she gave me a treat and said “Good boy”.  All in all, there were a lot of treats given and eaten, and Rosie and I were happy dogs, and a happy new extended family!

Here’s a photo of my newly-found sister and littermate, on the day of our reunion!

my sister, on the day of our first reunion

my sister, on the day of our first reunion

Oh, and of course when my mom and I got back inside our home, the first thing she did was to go into the kitchen, to where I followed her, and said was “Joey, drink water!”  And I did!


Jul 302009

This post is a continuation from part 1.

Who would have believed that after getting hit by a car and being so injured, a dog could have such a wonderful morning as this one!

We all remained like this for a few minutes, with Rosie on the sidewalk with her mom and me on the front steps with mine.

Just then, one of our family friends came by. He loves and understands dogs and he loves and understands me and I love him and “Lucky” is his black Labrador Retriever (and I can always smell Lucky all over Al when Al comes over and besides, Al always knows when to give me a treat) so when Al heard that my sister was here and he saw her, right away he went over to her and they made friends. This made Rosie feel more comfortable, too.

our friend Al introduces himself to Rosie.  Rosie and Al make friends.

Our friend Al introduces himself to Rosie. Rosie and Al make friends.

After Rosie seemed relaxed with Al and  I was okay with sitting and looking on, our moms decided it was time for me to get a little closer to Rosie.

Somehow I got the signal from my mom that it was okay to go a little closer. Maybe she let out on the lead a little; maybe she said “Joey, come”, I’m not sure. But we were able to communicate just fine.

This time, I was allowed to go right to the sidewalk but my mom kept me a few feet away from Rosie. Honestly, this is very difficult for me because I wanted to get close right away, but my mom held me back. (Actually, she gave my lead to Al, who is pretty strong and knows me and knew exactly what to do to keep me a few feet from Rosie .)  It was only for a little while though, so it was okay.

Rosie and I are exploring each other still from a distance but closer

Rosie and I are exploring each other still from a distance but closer.

You can see in the photo how much I’m trying to get closer to Rosie but Al has to work hard to restrain me. Rosie is interested in me too, and her mom has to work hard to restrain her. At night my parents said things like “We were smart in waiting to get Rosie and Joey together so far after his surgery and after his bandages were removed because he was putting a lot of pressure on his leg, pushing on it to get closer to Rosie, and in these last few weeks his leg has gotten strong enough to handle this.” I guess they’re right. And I’m not complaining. This is a great day – any day!

After a few minutes, our moms decided that it was time to allow the next big step! We both were eager for this next step.

nose to nose

nose to nose

This was really a fun moment.  It was also a good moment.

Shortly after that, Rosie allowed me to lick her face a little. This was my way of inviting her to play and to tell her that I like her and want to take care of her!  Rosie let me lick her face for a moment and I heard “That’s good enough for now.  Let’s maybe start walking soon. We don’t want to do too much too fast. We have lots of time; let’s not push it.”

And with that, our moms decided to pull us apart again.  But then I heard “Let’s go in this direction” and off we went, Rosie first and me following.

I’ll tell you more about our first reunion tomorrow; please enjoy these photos!

*****Now you can go to Part 3. ***

Jul 292009

It pays to stay calm.  Sometimes life after a trauma is better than it was before!

The day that I never thought would arrive has arrived! My mom must have been pretty good keeping secrets from me – almost as good as I am keeping secrets from her! Rosie has accepted our invitation to play and my mom has decided that I’m strong enough and healthy enough to now go for a walk around the block with my littermate.

Last night my Mom said something like “Go to sleep, Joey. Tomorrow will be a big day. We’re going to see Rosie!” but I didn’t really get what she was saying.

This morning I was inside and my mom was outside. I knew something big was going on outside but I couldn’t see what.  Still, I could hear it.  What had happened was this: A car had pulled up to the sidewalk outside our home and Elisabeth, Rosie’s mom, had gotten out then Rosie had gotten out.  Elisabeth and my mom had decided to keep me inside the home while Rosie got comfortable in a new place and with new people.

But when my mom came inside, I could smell Rosie all over her hands and arms. I kept sniffing for more and more information: Where was she? Would she be happy to see me? Could we play soon? It was wonderful! I could barely contain myself and if I had been a water balloon I would have exploded. This was Rosie, my littermate; we were born together ten years ago!

Soon my mom put me on my lead and slowly allowed me to go outside. First she had me sit on the front step of our home for a while, while Rosie remained on the sidewalk. Rosie and I just looked at each other and got comfortable like that for a while. It was pretty difficult. I wanted to get up but my mom would say “Sit” so I remained, according to her instructions.  You can see from the photo, from how perked my ears were, that I wanted to head straight for Rosie. But I obeyed my mom.

While I was there and Rosie was their, our moms were saying things like “Good boy” and “Good girl” so that each of us felt loved and comfortable in this new setting and situation.

Then things got even better!

I’m going to write more about our exciting morning later but I want you to see photos of me and of my sister and littermate those first moments, the first moments of our reunion.We see each other for the first time in ten years!

Life is getting back to normal – slowly but surely. Actually, life is better than normal! Today started with a big surprise – a good one. It’s great and exciting to have my sister back in my life after all these years!

We get used to each other little by little

Now please go to Part 2.


Jul 262009

After ankle surgery, how can we know when it’s safe to take your dog running again?

My parents have been watching me like hawks to see when it’s okay for my dad and me to go running again.

My mom has started a series of long neighborhood walks with me, walking at a quick pace.  She wants to strengthen my injured leg. She also wants to build endurance in me.

She looks to see if I am limping or using three legs and holding my injured leg up when I go quickly.  She looks to see if I am walking on the grass or on the asphalt or sidewalk. She is looking to see if the pads of my paws are tender or are getting calloused and tough.

My parents are looking at the muscles on my left side, the injured side, and comparing them to the muscles on my right side.

When Dad and I are walking and he sees me hopping, he says “Use four legs” and I slow down.  Mom has a different technique:  “Walk slowly,” she says.

Today we were outside in the back yard and my dad has started throwing the ball for me to catch. He wanted me to see what speed I run at naturally and he noticed if I was hopping or using all four legs.

maybe i'm a little too wild for this stage of my recuperation

maybe i'm a little too wild for this stage of my recuperation but catching my ball is so much fun!

He noticed that I ran to catch the ball and that I used all four legs.

He noticed that after about ten minutes, I got tired and needed to stop and rest, so we stopped playing that game.

Yesterday my mom and I had a good long walk for 50 minutes. She was happy to see that I kept up the pace. She was happy to see that, though in the beginning I was hopping a little and she had to slow me down, after a while I used all four legs even when we were going at a fast walk.

My mom noticed that I walk comfortably on the street or sidewalk.

My parents are going to keep their eyes on me and watch me closely and patiently. They are also going to keep taking me on long walks with a quick pace. And they are going to throw me the ball in our back yard and watch me run after it and see how I do sprinting.

I’m happy to get all this training; it’s lots of fun but it’s no substitute for the real thing.  My urge to run again is still alive and well.

Jul 242009

Here are some more friends from the animal medical center: Dakota, the German Shepherd, and Steve, his handler. These are a really proud and nice team!

dakota_steve_3Dakota guides Steve, who cannot see his way.  Dakota was in the hospital because one morning when Steve was going to work and the two of them were going up an escalator, Dakota’s paw got stuck. He too was in a lot of pain, just like I had been.  His toes were also broken, like mine had been. He too has to wear a collar, just like I did.

When they are walking together, Dakota helps Steve to walk in a straight line and around obstacles. Outside, Dakota also tells Steve where the curb is so Steve knows where to stop.

However, only Steve determines when it is time to go.

When they are stopped at a curb where there is a traffic light or a stop sign, Steve uses his sense of hearing to determine when it’s safe to cross.

Dakota and Steve are best friends but each one has his role and they work together as a team to ensure Steve’s safety and happiness.

I speak for Dakota when I say that dogs, even guide dogs, cannot understand or obey traffic signals and stop signs, and cannot make decisions about when it is safe to cross the street.

Jul 222009

This morning I got a great bath!

Later in the morning one of the technicians brought me back outside to the lobby, where my mom was waiting for me. When she saw me she really exclaimed “Hi Puppy! Hi Joey!”  It seems like it had been so long.

see the new friend I made!

see the new friend I made!

She and my technician talked for a while, and then another technician came over and gave me a big pet. Then another technician came over and said, “Joey, are you going home?” She too gave me a big pet.

I still don’t know why I was in the animal medical center but I am very tired. I am tired because it was exciting to be there, I was kept busy and stimulated, and I am tired because the doctors took a lot of tests. The tests weren’t bad; each time I was brought into the medical part of the building, I would hear “Is that Joey?” and people would come over to greet me. That was a lot of fun for me.

This morning when we were headed toward the large glass doors, my mom said “Joey, sit” and I remembered and sat. I could see another dog outside and I wanted to be there with this dog. But I was good and stayed. Then she said “Good boy” and petted me and then she said “Joey, come!” and we continued out through the big doors, though by then that dog had left, and into our car.

In the beginning of the ride I was excited to feel the wind on my face but then tiredness overcame me.

Now I’m back home.

My mom can see that I need some sleep so I’m going to just lie here by her feet and sleep.  The sun is shining:  Maybe later on we will go outside and she will give me an opportunity to lay in the warm grass and watch the other animals that live in our neighborhood. Then Dad will come home from work and we will take a walk together, maybe even the three of us!


Jul 212009

I didn’t tell you what’s been going on because I haven’t known much myself!

The other morning, bright and early, my mom drove me over to the big and now familiar animal hospital. Once inside, a few technicians came and got me and one of them took my lead and out we went!  My mom said “Bye, Joey!  See you in a few days!” and off I went with the technicians.  For the last 5 days I’ve had a great opportunity to make friends here in this little place.

Things were just fine, I started making new friends.  This is a nice section of the medical center where I have my own space.  But today the a doctor came over to examine me and take some tests on me.  Dr. T, who is really nice and gentle with me, took my blood pressure and also took a blood test. When I was having my blood pressure taken, people came over and said “Is that Joey?”  They were really happy to see me after a long while and I was happy to see them too.

I’m not sure what’s going on and my parents haven’t come yet to pick me up so I’m just going to go along with the flow.

I’d say that I wish someone would explain to me what’s going on in a way that I would understand but I probably wouldn’t understand. In the meanwhile, I’ll just make friends with the other dogs and the doctors, technicians and volunteers, something I’m good at doing.

Jul 152009

This post is Part 2 of 2. Click here to read Part 1 of 2.

The bath really turned into a whole wonderful afternoon.

There we were in the hot sunshine.  Soon my mom had her Furminator out.  I know this Furminator from when my little feline-brother was alive and living with us. Mickey used to have his fur brushed all the time. The Furminator was the only tool that Mickey didn’t mind my mom using on him. I used to watch him when Jane brushed him; he hated it and brushing Mickey with a standard cat brush was risky business.  She would talk sweetly to him, “Good Mickey” everything.  He would be okay for a while until suddenly he’d lunge one of his paws, nails first, right at her. She would wrap him in a towel so he couldn’t hurt her.  It was always risky for Jane.  Until Dad came home one day with a Furminator. Then Mickey didn’t mind it. I saw that he would sit or stand and allow her to brush his coat.  My parents would say “He looks like a kitten again!”

Now she used the Furminator on me.

Joey gets brushed with the Furminator

I get brushed with the Furminator

Outside on this beautiful day, mom spent a lot of time making sure I was as clean and shiny as a new copper penny.  I had to stand there while she brushed. She brushed under my neck, on the sides of my head, on my back, along both flanks of my long body, my thighs, my shoulders and under my chest, again and again. Each time I thought she was finished and I was free to find something in the garden to sniff, she started all over again.  One place she stayed away from was my wounded leg. She also stayed away from the places where I had been shaved and where my coat was still thin and where my skin was still sensitive.

In the end, I was so clean and my fur so shiny that the golden sunlight bounced right off my coat!

People who see me are still looking at my leg and they  say “A little surgery, eh?” However, now they are also looking at my coat and saying “So shiny!” and “So soft!”

And of course, there’s Mary, my favorite postal carrier, whom I saw today , who is thinking ahead and saying “Joey, be careful.”

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